Nigel Pearson has already signed former Leicester City defender Danny Simpson and it now seems he’s hoping for another Foxes reunion at Bristol City.
According to the Bristol Post, the Robins have opened talks with midfielder Matty James after the 29-year-old left Leicester as a free agent ahead of the summer.
With 11 players senior players leaving at the end of their City contracts, it could be a busy summer at Ashton Gate and it seems James could be the first player through the door.
Is it a good potential move?
This would be a fantastic move and a smart bit of business from the Robins.
Not only is it filling a need for City but it allows Pearson to bring in someone he trusts as he looks to change the club culture as well as rebuild the squad.
The fact that Coventry are reportedly keen to land him permanently after an impressive loan spell is evidence of his quality.
Money is likely to be tight this summer and having lost 11 senior players, significant recruitment needs to be done, so landing a player of James’ quality on a free transfer represents an excellent bit of business – though they might need him to take a pay cut given he was on £32,000 a week at Leicester (Salary Sport).
Can you name the Bristol City player who has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
Would he start?
Yes, you feel he’ll likely be a mainstay in City’s midfield next season if he signs.
He played every Championship game for Coventry after joining on loan in January and it would be no surprise to see him become a regular fixture at Ashton Gate as well.
Pearson does have some interesting midfield options but you feel it may be the case that James anchors the midfield, with the City boss changing the players around him to suit the needs of each game.
What does he offer?
He’s a quality central midfielder, someone that can pick out a pass, is confident and smart in possession but also happy and capable of putting in the defensive work – as illustrated by the fact he ranked among the top players in Coventry for both tackles and interceptions per game last season (Whoscored).
Perhaps most importantly, James will add some experience and leadership to a midfield that is screaming out for it.
The Robins have failed to replace leaders like Josh Brownhill, Korey Smith, and Marlon Pack, who have all left in recent years, which led to them being overrun in midfielder far too often in 2020/21 but adding the 29-year-old could go some way to helping to solve that issue.
The likes of Tyreeq Bakinson and Han-Noah Massengo look really promising and their development could benefit massively from a player like the 29-year-old playing next to them.
It is understood he’s a consummate professional as well and is someone that knows what players and a squad as a whole need to do to succeed under Pearson, which would help the City boss as he looks to change the club culture.